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   Re: [xml-dev] Is Resource/Representation a fruitful abstraction? (was Re

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On Thu, Jan 30, 2003 at 10:14:37AM -0500, Mike Champion wrote:
> Sure, no dispute there.  The open question for me is whether "the Web as we 
> know it" proves the concept of URL's that *locate* something or other to be 
> determined by all sorts of context, MIME types, ad hoc conventions and out 
> of band agreements ... or whether it proves the concept of URIs that 
> *identify* abstract resources with representations.  The former is  much 
> less general and abstract than the latter, and I'm skeptical of the 
> argument that the success of the less general form proves the validity of 
> the more general form.

That's reasonable, except for one thing; the more general form is
already a success.  If you've ever used a firewall, you used the more
general form, because the client didn't have to do a gethostbyname()
(i.e. treat it as a locator) on the authority component of the URI.

The only place in *any* HTTP request-response chain that treats a URI as
a locator, is the next-to-last node, because it has to locate the last
node on the network.  Every other node, including the origin server,
treats it as an identifier.

Mark Baker.   Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.        http://www.markbaker.ca
Web architecture consulting, technical reports, evaluation & analysis


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